Learning in the classroom gets a boost from breakfast
Breakfast in the Classroom at Johnson Elementary earns state recognition
Posted on 10/26/2012
Haley Carpenter eats breakfast in the classroom at Johnson Elementary

“You are just not yourself when you are hungry,” is a recognizable line from a popular television commercial but it is very true, especially in the classroom.  Children who are hungry must overcome much more than the basic struggle to learn a difficult new concept.  The school nutrition department for Floyd County Schools and Johnson Elementary are tackling this major obstacle to learning with a program called Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC).  The breakfast program for all children at Johnson is not only holding the attention of our students in the classroom so that they can learn, it is also gaining recognition at the state level.  At a recent meeting of the Georgia School Nutrition Association at the MetroPlex in Macon, Floyd County Schools brought home a 2012 Georgia Best Practice Award.  The Best Practice Recognition is presented by the Georgia Department of Education’s School Nutrition Program. 

Floyd County Schools and Johnson Elementary were recognized by GSNA for best practices in increasing participation in the school breakfast program.  Johnson is in the second year of providing breakfast in the classroom for all students as they start their school day.  Teachers, administrators and the school nutrition staff are working together to get the children off to a great start on learning by making sure that each child has a healthy, nutritious and filling breakfast.   

All students start their day with breakfast time in their classroom.  This allows every child at the school to participate in the breakfast program.  The lunchroom staff packs the breakfast for the day in coolers purchased by the school PTO and the students come to the cafeteria to take the food to the classroom.  The children eat in their area and clean-up after themselves.  "
The biggest issue I had initially were worries about spills in the classroom," commented Lori Sanders, school nutrition manager at Johnson. “I had a parent comment recently that her children now take their plates to the sink at home so these skills that are being learned in the classroom are staying with the children when they go home.”  She added,” If you help kids take ownership of their own space in the classroom, you don’t have as many spills, they will clean up, and be more careful.”

The staff at Johnson has progressed through several different variations of the breakfast routine in the first year but has now fine tuned the process down to an efficient drill that is becoming second nature to the children and teachers.  “I believe Breakfast in the classroom has been a positive addition to our school,” said Alicia Whitehead, a third grade teacher. “This keeps the kids from getting so hungry before lunch.”  “A healthy body and mind is integral to the learning process and with breakfast being the most important meal of the day it only makes sense to get food into the hands, and tummies, of as many children as possible,” exclaimed Debra Williams, school nutrition training manager for Floyd County Schools. “That's what breakfast in the classroom is all about.”

 

“Breakfast in the Classroom has been is a fantastic opportunity for our students to get a jump-start on their day,” commented LaDonna Turrentine, principal at Johnson.  Measurable indicators show that student academics are showing improvement in test scores, fewer students are being tardy to school and trips to the school nurse have declined. “The success of Breakfast in the Classroom at Johnson is something for which we can all be proud,” stated Donna Carver, director of school nutrition for Floyd County Schools. “We are so proud of Johnson’s accomplishments.”